If you’ve been following news surrounding the election, you’re not alone. Millions of Americans have tuned in for debates and public appearances in an effort to learn more about the candidates – and for many, this includes the candidates for vice president.
In Texas, the winners of the upcoming election could have a massive impact on the energy industry. SaveOnEnergy has already provided rundowns of the presidential candidates’ takes on renewable energy and oil and gas. For today’s article, we’ll take a look at the candidates for vice president and what they have to say about the energy market.
Sen. Kamala Harris
California Senator Harris is Joe Biden’s pick for vice president in this year’s election. Harris was elected to the Senate in 2016. During her time in the Senate, she:
- Co-sponsored the Green New Deal, which is now a framework for The Biden Plan.
- Introduced versions of the Climate Equity Act in 2019 and 2020 – this act would mandate that the government assess how environmental legislation impacts low-income communities.
- Proposed the Environmental Justice for All Act – this would require the government to consider low-income and communities of color during federal permitting and decision-making processes.
- As San Francisco’s District Attorney, Harris created a justice unit to investigate how environmental crimes impacted low-income communities.
Recently, Harris has been vocal in her support of expanding renewable energy as an alternative to fossil fuels. Here are some important stances Harris has taken on environmental issues:
- During her presidential campaign in 2019, Harris outlined plans to hold corporations responsible for the harm they cause to the environment.
- Harris supports ending fossil fuel subsidies and oil and natural gas extraction on public lands.
- Harris has voiced her support for The Biden Plan, which aims for net-zero carbon emissions in the U.S. by 2050 and a carbon-free power industry by 2035.
- Biden and Harris do not plan to ban fracking in the current environmental policy.
Vice President Mike Pence
Current Vice President Mike Pence is Donald Trump’s running mate once again in this election. Pence previously served as governor of Indiana and as a member of the U.S. House of Representatives. During his time in office, Pence:
- Attempted to roll back renewable energy standards and brought an end to Indiana’s energy efficient efforts.
- Voiced his support for the coal industry – in fact, during his 2015 State of the State address, he stated, “Indiana is a pro-coal state.”
- Resisted the EPA’s Clean Power Plan, which would regulated carbon emissions from power plants, and stated Indiana would not only defy the rule but would also not form its own plan to reduce emissions.
During this election cycle, Pence has doubled down in his support of traditional fossil fuels and voiced his support of environmental decisions made by the Trump administration. Notable stances he has taken include:
- Pence supports hydraulic fracking for oil and natural gas, as well as expanding offshore oil drilling. He also supports the expansion of nuclear energy.
- He has been criticized for his skepticism of climate change. Recently, during the vice-presidential debate, Pence refused to label the climate crisis as an “existential threat.”
- As a member of the Trump administration, Pence supported President Trump’s decision to remove the U.S. from the Paris Climate Agreement and approved of rolling back many environmental regulations enacted by the Obama administration.
- In the recent debate with Senator Harris, Pence claimed, “the United States has reduced CO2 more than the countries that are still in the Paris climate accord.”
Caitlin Cosper is a writer within the energy and power industry. Born in Georgia, she attended the University of Georgia before earning her master’s in English at the University of North Carolina at Charlotte.